Dr. Dodson passes away

Published 9:50 am Saturday, December 10, 2011

FRANKLIN—Retired Franklin dentist and pharmacist Dr. Barham Dodson died Friday morning after a 24-hour stay at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk. He was 86.

A Richmond native whose early career in pharmacy brought him to Parker Drug in Franklin in the 1960s, Dodson after awhile returned to school to study dentistry. His late wife, Martha, told him she didn’t care where they went after dental school, but she was going to live in Franklin.

“They loved Franklin,” said longtime family friend Gaynelle Riddick.

After practicing for years with Drs. Robert Edwards and Hubert Rawlings, Dodson left the field and returned to pharmacy. He worked for Eckerd and Rite Aid pharmacies in Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Murfreesboro, N.C., before retiring at age 72.

Dodson’s daughter, Anne Beverly Moseley of Lebanon, said her father was in good health until about four weeks ago.

“He went to Fred’s every morning for breakfast and took Dr. Ernie Gatten,” Moseley said. “He was still driving and loved cookbooks. He loved his grandchildren and he just got to see his two new great-grandchildren.”

Moseley also said her father was a joke teller.

“He was always, always telling colorful jokes,” she said.

Riddick called Dodson the life of the party.

“He had a thousand friends,” she said. “Everybody loved Barham. I can remember many parties we went to and he would end up entertaining because he was so funny.”

“There will be a zillion people at his funeral,” Riddick added.

Dodson lost his wife of 57 years on Dec. 21, 2007, at age 80. His other children are Sidney Dodson and Thomas Dodson, both of Richmond, and Louise Grgurich of Manteo, N.C. Barham Dodson had six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A World War II veteran, he was a former president of Franklin Rotary and the American Legion in Franklin, was active in the Republican Party during his younger years and belonged to Franklin Baptist Church.

Family friend Anne Williams said Dodson was a man loved by his generation and “our generation.”

“He was just Barham,” Williams said. “He was a jokester. He was just one of those people everyone just loved and felt comfortable with. It was a cross-generation thing.”